Two Arrested in Connection with Death of 12-Year-Old Girl Who Vanished from 7-Eleven

Ballinger News Staff

Two Arrested in Connection with Death of 12-Year-Old Girl Who Vanished from 7-Eleven

Two men were arrested on Thursday in connection with the death of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray, whose body was discovered on Monday in a creek, Houston officials announced.

Jocelyn had sneaked out of her home on Sunday night and was last seen on surveillance footage entering a 7-Eleven shortly after midnight, officials stated at a news conference. The video shows her talking to two men.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, who are roommates, were arrested on a preliminary charge of capital murder in relation to the case, according to Houston authorities. As of Thursday afternoon, they had yet to be formally charged.

Alexis Nungaray, Jocelyn’s mother, told Houston TV station KPRC that she last saw her daughter before 10 p.m. on Sunday but noticed her missing at around 6 a.m. the following day.

Jocelyn’s 13-year-old boyfriend was reportedly on the phone with her while she was at the store and could hear her speaking with two adults, according to KTRK-TV in Houston.

Lt. Stephen Hope of the Houston Police Department mentioned at the news conference that the victim’s boyfriend and his family had been “extremely” cooperative with authorities during the investigation.

Hope detailed that the two men were seen on video speaking with Jocelyn outside the 7-Eleven for several minutes before entering the store together. Moments later, they walked towards a bridge near where Jocelyn’s body was found.

“I always told her to never leave the house, never leave unattended, always be safe — there’s people around here that are crazy. I don’t think she ever thought it would happen to her,” Alexis Nungaray told KPRC. The two men headed south towards their apartment and allegedly left the girl by the bridge, Hope said.

Alexis Nungaray tracked her daughter’s phone to the creek the next morning and saw officers canvassing the area. She was officially notified an hour later that her daughter was dead.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined that Jocelyn died of strangulation, KPRC reported.

Ramos and Martinez were taken into custody at their apartment on Thursday. Officers who searched their home allegedly found evidence connected to Jocelyn’s death.

Her mother told KPRC that she is still struggling to come to terms with her daughter’s death.

“It’s like it’s not real. I keep hearing everything and everybody tell me everything, and I hear it and it’s not registering,” she said.

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